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Lebanon bills pass House
May 18, 2005 12:00 am
May 17, 2005
A handful of bills aimed at realigning Lebanon city elections as well as bringing minor league hockey to the city passed the State House on Monday night despite weeks of controversy between state legislators and Lebanon Mayor Don Fox.
State Reps. Stratton Bone and Susan Lynn confirmed three private acts sponsored by them passes unanimously on the House floor Monday. A single bill affecting all municipalities sales tax revenues sponsored by Bone also passed easily.
"I'm very happy for Lebanon that all four passed," Lynn said Monday night. "I'm thankful and grateful mu colleagues passed on these unanimously."
The main city act that passed shortened the terms for city office holders in the next two upcoming city elections to realign city balloting with the presidential and gubernatorial election years. The bill is an alternative to the failed term extension bill and election realignment that died in a House subcommittee.
The two other private acts included allowing the Council to seek outside legal advice and expanding the approval needed to terminate city department heads to include the mayor and two-thirds of the Council.
All three private acts passed despite a recent battle between Lebanon Mayor Don Fox and state legislators over the previously proposed legislation extending the terms of the Council and mayor by as much as three months. When the proposed legislation failed, Fox blasted back calling state lawmakers "maggot ball."
After hearing of Fox's tirade on a local radio station, legislators alluded to Lebanon having a difficult time passing bills through the General Assembly. Those veiled threats, however, went unnoticed with the easy passage of Lebanon private acts Monday.
Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and Bone, D-Lebanon, said they were glad the controversy was behind them with the vote.
"I'm glad we have all that behind us and are moving forward," Bone said. "It's time to move on."
The bill sponsored by Bone for Lebanon would allow cities to keep sales tax dollars generated by minor hockey league teams. The cities could then use the money to retire a note, which was used to build an events center. Bone, however, noted Lebanon is not the only city hoping the bill would pass.
"Last week, a representative talked to me about it and said their community is looking for same thing," Bone said Monday night. "It allows any community to divert sales tax money.
"The county and city would put up funds to make it work."
Now the House has passed the private acts and bill, it must head to the Senate for a vote before becoming law.
Night News Editor J.K. Devine can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 46 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.